• MEMO

    TO: Board Rats

    FROM: Director, BIA




    •Offensive FG%

    •Defensive FG% (Self’s most highly regarded stat)

    •Reb Margin (+5)


    •Offensive PPG



    •Offensive 3pt % (Large)

    •Defensive 3pt % (Large)

    •FT % (medium)

    •Blocks (large)

    •Height (significant)

    •Athleticism (significant)

    •Depth: (large)


    •Turnovers (Large)

    •Steals (medium)

    •Defensive PPG


    SHORT FORM: In close games of similar teams, its about the last ten minutes and the referees, stupid.

    LONG FORM: KU is playing a short team, like itself, that appears as tough as KU is, that likes to win games at the FT the same as KU does, and a team that guards inside as well as KU does, but does not guard the trey stripe nearly as well KU does. KU has a sharp edge in trey shooting, too. But KU’s biggest edge is its depth and using it to wear down WSU for a beat down the last ten minutes. KU may want to speed the game up for stretches to get the lead to enable substitutions to defend and repeat for the first 30 minutes, and then come for the kill the last ten. The most concerning stat for KU, and the only thing that makes a W against WSU less than probable, is WSU being sharply better at protecting. WSU makes far fewer turnovers and steals significantly more. Protection is the Achilles Heal of BAD BALL. KU has to protect nearly as well as the opponent, unless it is shooting the lights out from trey, to win at BAD BALL. Marshall and WSU will be trying to do what Fred and ISU tried—to out BAD BALL KU at its own game. This will be much easier for WSU to do, since it has been playing a very specialized version of Bad Ball through its two guards all season long. But BAD BALL is about attacking from all five positions, not just 2-3. Which version of BAD BALL can prevail will depend on which team can impose its style of play the longest. The referees will determine that. Both teams are going to want a slow pace much of the time, but I think both teams match up closely on so many key strategic stats and player matches that this game will come down to the refereeing. There are always three teams on any floor. In this case it will be KU, WSU and the Referees. Both coaches will be working the referees early to get the calls going their way to win this game at the foul line. KU, with more depth will be working hard to use two guys—Mason and Graham–to wear VanVleet’s legs down for the last ten minutes. Thus, Marshall will try to get the ball into other players hands whenever WSU has a little or a big lead, so as to try to preserve VanVleet for the last ten minutes. WSU tries to avoid putting teams on the foul line in a different way than KU. WSU tries to put the bulk of its pressure not on the ball, or the player, but on the passing lanes, thus WSU gets lots of steals, and triggers lots of turnovers, because of the disrupted flow of passing dependent offenses. KU forgoes overplaying the passing lanes for jumping into the impact space of the man with the ball and shrinking the impact space of the man one pass away. This results in fewer turnovers and steals, but much more acutely disrupts offensive flow of the opponent, and this is the secret to KU’s tremendous defense the last month and a half. Both approaches hold fouls down and thus create an advantage in FTAs. But the WSU approach yields more transition baskets, where as the KU approach yields more stopped possessions and more conventional trips up the court for half court offense, where KU drives the ball to get fouls. WSU is in a very, very difficult position, if Self adjust KU’s offense so that the passing lanes are not vulnerable to WSU. How would he do that? The simplest way is to spread the offense immediately and let Frank start driving on VanVleet. VanVleet and WSU cannot afford to send anyone on KU to the FT line repetitively. Frank has a fine trey that VanVleet has to honor. Thus, speed being equal, Frank should be able to blow by VanVleet almost every play for the first 30 minutes of the game, while Marshall is saving VanVleet for the closing ten minutes. In turn, playing through Frank should guaranty Frank getting to iron to attack which ever short big of WSU’s is at the iron. In very short order, this strategy would have WSU’s big fouled up and that would then open up KU’s size advantage to indefensible proportions inside on Frank’s drives. When Frank tires, repeat with Devonte. Self does not like to play this way early on. He likes to play this way for the key stretches late in both halves. But this is how you STOP any chance for WSU to rely on stealing and turnovers from passing lane disruption to occur. Once you get a lead, then you run the stuff and defend it. Then repeat. But if KU start baking pop tarts and getting stripped, and gets behind WSU, KU likely will lose, for the same reason that teams get behind KU and lose. It is very hard to come back on BAD BALL, except by playing BAD BALL and getting lucky.

    KU by 7.

    (NOTE: The BIA apologizes board rats in the field for the lateness of this report.)

  • @jaybate-1.0 Thanks JB. I will watch the game with one eye closed.

Log in to reply